Loose, sagging skin after a baby’s birth can take the shine off your once proud, full belly. Mild to moderate skin laxity around the tummy is normal for many women after pregnancy, but you may feel a little body despondent despite your body having performed a rather amazing feat in growing your baby.
If your belly hasn’t bounced back after a year or so post-pregnancy, you may want a little help to tighten and tone your mid-section.
At ENRICH Clinic, we have a range of skin-tightening, fat-removal and stretch-mark-fading technology and treatments to stimulate your body’s natural skin-tighteners, collagen and elastin. Our treatments can help improve texture and even the tone of your abdominal skin.
Our favourite post-baby tummy skin treatments include:
- The Ultraformer for skin tightening
- The Secret radiofrequency skin needling device for tightening skin and fading stretch marks
- Liposuction combined with the Ultraformer or the Secret for overall reshaping and toning
- Stretch mark treatments (depending on stretch mark size, colour and severity) which may include laser treatments or the Secret
How these skin tightening treatments work
Most of our skin tightening treatments use thermal heat energy to tighten and remodel collagen fibres and stimulate new collagen production.
Tightening the existing collagen fibres provides an instant tightening effect, while the production of new collagen takes a few months to show visible results.
Which treatments should you use?
Each of your post-pregnancy bodies is unique; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all for post-partum skin tightening or body contouring treatments. You may or may not have stretch marks or stubborn fat pockets, and the location of your problem areas will vary.
Not every treatment is suitable for each person, so we’d love to meet with you, discuss your body goals and have an in-person assessment. A consultation ensures we’re all on the same page in terms of possibilities and expectations.
In saying that, it’s great to know what’s available and how it works. While a consultation will lay out what treatments would best suit your skin type, body and budget, here we explain our favourite post-partum skin tightening treatments.
We often recommend a multi-treatment approach – a pinch of this and a spoon of that – for best results. At ENRICH Clinic, we find that two different but complementary treatments offer a better result compared with just one type of treatment.
We call this the ‘one plus one equals three’ cosmetic equation meaning two companion treatments done in a certain time period can add up to the result of three.
The Ultraformer for tummy skin tightening
The Ultraformer is a leading skin-tightening treatment device that uses a technology known as HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin to promote firmer, more elastic skin.
The Ultraformer can reach seven different depths, each useful depending on what area of skin we are treating. Tightening can be felt immediately after your treatment, and you’ll continue to see improvements in the appearance and feel of your skin for up to six months.
This ongoing effect is due to the slow, natural production of collagen. Into science? Check out HIFU research for skin laxity.
The Secret RF skin needling for post-partum belly
We love the Secret. It’s a versatile machine that works cosmetically on many areas of the body, from sagging skin and scarring on the face to stretch marks on the thighs.
The Secret has a wave-based energy component, effectively utilising two of our best collagen and elastin-stimulating treatments: radiofrequency and skin needling.
The Secret stimulates the production of and remodels collagen. We can adjust the Secret needles to deliver energy to various depths, allowing us to tailor the treatment to your skin’s needs anywhere on the body.
How liposuction can benefit post-partum tummy sagging
Sometimes a pocket of stubborn fat around the belly doesn’t respond to exercise or diet modifications. These pockets of fat often stay put due to hormonal signals, being jam-packed full of receptors that tell the fat cell to retain the fat for a rainy day, emergency use only.
When a fat cell is told to stay put, it makes it very difficult to get rid of via the usual routes.
Liposuction – with or without skin tightening treatments – has proved successful if traditional fat-loss methods aren’t working, especially after a pregnancy. Liposuction can remove fat cells in the abdomen, shifting stubborn post-baby belly fat pockets.
Post-partum stretch mark treatments
It’s an unfortunate reality, that stretch marks tend to be with us for life. We can reduce their appearance in some instances so that they are virtually invisible, but we can’t remove them.
Stretch marks are not a scar – they are the result of the skin stretching beyond its capabilities. The mark is a filler, as opposed to a scar, though stretch marks do resemble scars. Scars and stretch marks come from the same material: collagen.
Stretch marks develop when the skin stretches faster than it can adapt, causing a ‘rip’. This rip is filled in as best your skin can, but the result is white, pink or red skids; shiny or scar-like curved, raised or flat stretch marks. There may be many; there may only be a few.
Pregnancy causes this type of stretching and stretch marks, depending on your skin type and genetics. Stretch marks may be severe or barely visible, with treatments being more successful the smaller and lighter the marks originally. Time fades stretch marks, but they never disappear without treatments.
We can often fade stretch marks significantly using several different methods, which will largely depend on the original state of the marks. The sooner we get to them, the better the results since stretch marks are collagenous.
Collagen is pliable to a point, but the longer a mark has to ‘set’, the more work it takes to remodel it.
Manage your expectations
Your body is amazing and has been through an incredible experience giving birth. Managing your expectations of how much the skin can tighten or retract after such an experience, even with the help of treatments, is very important. Our experienced team can talk you through what is possible and help you achieve the right result for you.